I am a political scientist, with specializations in political theory and American politics, in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. My current book project, Against Localism, develops a comprehensive and uncompromising critique of localism—which I define as a form of malignant spatial partiality—in political life. More about the book manuscript can be found here.
Closely related to Against Localism are two articles on the principle of subsidiarity, one of four basic principles of Catholic social doctrine, as well as (since 1992) a regulative principle of the European Union. In “Against Subsidiarity,” I show that the dominant secular interpretation of subsidiarity (e.g., in the European Union) is poorly justified in normative terms. In “The Principle of Subsidiarity: A Democratic Reinterpretation,” I show how subsidiarity can be reinterpreted so as to earn our support.
My other work is eclectic, including such topics as the early American presidential veto, the nature and ground of political equality, Alexis de Tocqueville on white supremacy, the relationship between the American Anti-Federalists and Adam Smith, and the self-deception of political leaders.